A cashier counts money at a Toys "R" Us in Los Angeles last November. A pinch in earnings and hours disappointed those looking for a pickup in paychecks last month. Liz O. Baylen/LA Times via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Liz O. Baylen/LA Times via Getty Images

Economists use the phrase "full employment" to mean the number of people seeking jobs is roughly in balance with the number of openings. heshphoto/Getty Images/Image Source hide caption

toggle caption heshphoto/Getty Images/Image Source
Why Some Still Can't Find Jobs As The Economy Nears 'Full Employment'
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/464856256/465067370" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The price of oil is displayed in downtown Midland, Texas, in February. Across the state, drilling budgets have been cut and companies have laid off workers. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Massive Downsizing In Oil Sector Brings Acute Pain For The Holidays
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/460013215/460082557" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The price of oil is displayed in downtown Midland, Texas, in February. Across the state, drilling budgets have been cut and companies have laid off workers. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Massive Downsizing In Oil Sector Brings Acute Pain For The Holidays
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/460013215/460082557" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Wayne Berry is training to be a truck driver. The shortage of drivers is so severe that on his second day of training, he already had a job offer. Frank Morris/KCUR hide caption

toggle caption Frank Morris/KCUR
Trucking Shortage: Drivers Aren't Always In It For The Long Haul
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/459348786/459637457" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Employers are increasingly using mobile recruitment tools to make applying for jobs easier and quicker. Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR
Mobile Recruiting: The Key To Your Next Job Could Be In Your Pocket
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/458889853/458889854" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Prices for both gasoline and natural gas have fallen this year. An AT&T employee fills up his company van in San Diego last month. Mike Blake/Reuters/Landov hide caption

toggle caption Mike Blake/Reuters/Landov

People do their holiday shopping in Manhattan Mall in New York City in November 2014. Retailers may have a harder time filling holiday jobs this year because of a shrinking pool of workers. Andrew Burton/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Andrew Burton/Getty Images
This Holiday Season, Retailers Will Be Wishing For More Workers
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/455880918/457027463" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Lineman rodeo contestants participate in an event that simulates an electrical problem to be fixed in Bonner Springs, Kan. The challenge was announced the night before. Frank Morris/KCUR hide caption

toggle caption Frank Morris/KCUR
Help Wanted: Must Like Heights And High Voltage
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/454893604/455577742" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Security and police officers help Pierre Plissonnier, an executive in Air France's long-haul flight unit, to climb over a fence after several hundred employees stormed into the offices of Air France on Monday. Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images

Ellsworth Ashman lost his middle-skill job at Entenmann's on Long Island, N.Y., last year. Now he's working at a job that pays half of what he made at the bakery. Charles Lane/WSHU hide caption

toggle caption Charles Lane/WSHU
Despite Recovery, Middle-Wage Workers Are Being Squeezed Out
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/437210796/438354853" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A worker welds parts in fans for industrial ventilation systems at the Robinson Fans Inc. plant in Harmony, Pa., in February. Hourly wages in the U.S. remained unchanged last month. Keith Srakocic/AP hide caption

toggle caption Keith Srakocic/AP

Bianca Medici (left), a corporate recruiter for CDM Media, speaks with job applicants during a Chicago job fair in May. The economy added 223,000 jobs in June, and unemployment fell to its lowest rate since 2008. M. Spencer Green/AP hide caption

toggle caption M. Spencer Green/AP
Georgia Leads A Push To Help Ex-Prisoners Get Jobs
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/419162376/419405979" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In the face-to-face interview process, research shows that managers tend to hire applicants who are similar to them on paper. Bjorn Rune Lie/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

toggle caption Bjorn Rune Lie/Getty Images/Ikon Images
Blind Auditions Could Give Employers A Better Hiring Sense
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/410264592/410340245" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Engaging, mentally stimulating work is good for the brain, scientists say, whether you get paid to do it or not. Running a household can be as mentally demanding as running a company. iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption iStockphoto
Oakland Kids Get A Raise From The New Minimum Wage
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/394328003/395238661" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript